I thought I knew what I wanted out of my weight loss journey. Lose weight. Right?
Now, I’m not so sure. And it’s a bit scary.
Let me start by saying that (a.) I’ve lost 23 pounds (yay!), and (b.) I took my kids to the bakery after the library and bought something for the first time in 3 months (huh, wha?). (And then [c.] later went to a friend’s house and proceeded to have chili….and sour cream… and with my SECOND helping of chili added the mac & cheese topping that I abstained from the first time.)
As I think about my current stage in this weight loss journey I have stumbled on an uncomfortable truth – one that sent me running (OK, driving) to the bakery.
Fact: Losing weight will not solve every problem.
Fact (addendum): After losing the weight, you will still need to address those other problems. They didn’t actually go anywhere while you focused on weight loss.
Losing weight WILL:
- make me feel better, stronger, healthier
- lower my odds of several nasty diseases
- help me look better in the clothes I already own, and therefore be more confident
However, losing weight will NOT:
- make my kids stop complaining about putting away their laundry
- clean the kitchen or pay the bills
- make other people around me instantly healthier (i.e. make other people around me make healthier choices just because I am)
- make other people see things my way… (hmmm, what’s this one about?)
- solve global warming, political unrest or other existential issues
I’ve had this nagging concern – OK, fear – since day one of the “diet”: What if I don’t like how this ends?
But I didn’t understand then that the nagging question wasn’t even about diet or weight loss.
I knew that only PART of the struggle of dieting was going to be the actual dieting – the watching what you eat part.
I’ve done Weight Watchers before in my life – this is the third time. Each time it works tremendously well for what is was designed – losing weight.
Each time, I guess, it doesn’t work well at figuring out what else is going on in your life and how to address those challenges.
Issues beyond weight loss – challenging jobs, healthy relationships, being an active & thoughtful parent, moving homes or changing jobs – these issues don’t go away just because you’re rocking it in losing weight.
I realized that I’m using my focus on weight loss and attention to my body and watching what I eat (all good things) to block out thinking about all other nagging issues floating around.
I think most people can typically rise to face a great challenge. If you make weight loss that challenge, many of us can rise to face it. Tackle it. Win.
What happens when we’ve “won”?
I don’t know. I really don’t know.
But I need to find out. I’m more than halfway to my goal.
I welcome your ideas in the comments section. And I’ll write more when I figure it out.